The word “positioning” gets tossed around almost carelessly in corporate documents, and I often feel as if the word is misunderstood (that’s foreshadowing). Positioning isn’t what we say, it’s what people think and to that end any “position” that is coveted by brands has to be plausible, or anything brands say will be misaligned.
Gartner positions vendors in its Magic Quadrant reports along four categories: Leaders, visionaries, challengers and niche players. Positioning as a “leader” is generally a difficult proposition because every company claims to be a leader. If everyone is a leader, then leadership as point of differentiation has lost its luster.
PR pros, however, know it’s entirely something different when someone else calls us a leader, which what makes the upper right hand corner of a quadrant so magical. It’s the simple notion that nothing we say about ourselves is as powerful as someone saying it about us. Better still when the concept is aligned with preconceived notions; it’s hard to create new notions.
Here are several timeless PR positioning strategies: